The Vancouver Canucks decided not to qualify both Derrick Pouliot and Ben Hutton last week, letting them become unrestricted free agents and able to sign elsewhere. In their place, the team is set to add three pieces with a little more experience. The team has signed Tyler Myers to a five-year, $30MM deal and Jordie Benn to a two-year, $4MM deal. They also added Oscar Fantenberg in another deal. Myers’ contract includes a huge amount in signing bonuses, including $6MM due this September 1. GM Jim Benning released a statement on his new highly-paid defender:
Tyler is a proven competitor and an important addition to our roster. His experience, character, and size are qualities that will help our team. We are excited to have Tyler and his family join our team.
Myers, 29, came into free agency as one of the very best defensemen available after five relatively successful seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. Last year saw him record 31 points in 80 games, though his role with the team started to decline given the emergence of Jacob Trouba. Trouba is gone now as well, leaving Winnipeg with a glaring hole on the right side of their defense, but Vancouver isn’t complaining. They’ll commit long term to the 6’8″ Myers, who will now become one of the highest-paid players on the entire team.
Benn meanwhile comes to the Canucks after a career-best 22 points in 2018-19, the only time he’s really been considered anything but a depth option. The 31-year old has now played 473 games in his NHL career but had previously been asked to handle a limited role in Dallas and Montreal. That might be where he’s headed again in Vancouver given their glut of defenders, with Alexander Edler and Quinn Hughes ahead of him on the left side.
With their eyes on the playoffs, the Canucks have now rebuilt their blue line with these three additions along with an expected full season from young phenom Hughes. That immediately begs the question of whether one of their other veterans could be on the move, with Chris Tanev becoming the most obvious possibility. Tanev is on the final year of his contract and has been in trade rumors for years. With Myers likely stepping into a large role on the right side, the team may need to move someone out of town.